0 comments / Posted on by Sydney's Fashion Team

 
[caption id="attachment_4447" align="aligncenter" width="288"]Oprah Winfrey's Red Dress at the BAFTA Awards 2014
Oprah Winfrey's Red Dress at the BAFTA Awards 2014
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I had to do a triple take when Oprah hit the red carpet at the British Academy of Film and Televsion Arts (BAFTA) awards in London last Sunday. The crimson Stella McCartney evening gown she wore looks so much like a design I have in the works for a new plus size Mother of Bride Dress.  Yikes!  Was she reading my mind?!? My design is still in the very earliest concept stage.  (I just found the fabric on my trip to China last month) Still, the design parallels are striking:
  • Silhouette:  long formal evening
  • Neckline:  V-neck
  • Fabric:  lace appliques on the bodice and chiffon skirt
  • Sleeves:  long
 
[caption id="attachment_4448" align="aligncenter" width="194"]Fabric Swatch for plus size Mother of the Bride dress
Fabric Swatch for a new Mother of the Bride Dress
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  My design for Sydney's Closet does have some distinct difference from Oprah's dress :
  • Color:  aubergine instead of crimson but still a deep rich jewel tone
  • Neckline:  most Mothers don't feel comfortable showing so much cleavage so the V-neck will be less plunging.
  • Waistband:  I'm not a big fan of the satin.  It's too shiny where most women have curves.  I prefer chiffon for a softer treatment at the waistline.
  • Sleeves:  my design will have 3/4 length sleeves so the customer can wear a favorite watch or bracelet to the wedding or formal event.
  • Bow:  bye-bye to that detail which I think belongs on gift boxes not on women with real curves at their waist. Not right for this mother of the bride dress.
  • Skirt:  Oprah pulled off the curve hugging slim skirt. But I'll create an A-line skirt.  It's so much more flattering and comfortable!
  • Lining:  I'll steer away from the gray lining on the bodice in favor of a champagne color or a color closer to the skirt. (I haven't decided yet. Will need to wait and see which looks best when the samples come in!)
Some observers got on social media to knock Oprah's red carpet look in London as matronly. Believe me, its a true design challenge to create an age-appropriate evening dress for any 60-year-old that doesn't look frumpy.  Mothers of the Bride and Groom  tell us all the time that they want to look pretty but not  "old" when they walk down the aisle at their son or daughter's wedding. Oprah did add a nice touch of reality to the dreamy evening of British royalty, grand Dames and show biz celebrities when she posted an Instagram. It showed her being sewn into her gown just an hour before she hit the red carpet. That behind- the- scenes look told us even  a super star experiences wardrobe challenges on nights as big as the BAFTAs.      

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